By PRSSA member Rebecca Speranza
You know those starry-eyed, ambition-fueled classmates who actually made their dreams from the jungle gym days a reality? The ones who were gifted with the destination and the path that led straight to it?
Yeah, me neither. For the longest time, I didn’t seem to comprehend the notion that more often than not, no one’s got life figured out. In high school, it was acceptable for students to not know what they were going to do after graduation, and that uncertainty usually seeped into the first year of college as they focused on the completing the core curriculum.
But when I faced that feeling of uncertainty myself, it was like a plague. It followed me all through high school and well into my college career, lurking with silent feet and watchful eyes.
I was known by my friends and family to change my dream at the drop of a hat, attracted to the wealth of the medical field one day and swayed by the simplicity of the education field the next.
So, I took it easy and allowed myself the time to explore what college had to offer through joining student organizations, sampling a range of courses, and even studying abroad in Japan for a year. I quickly realized that what I initially thought would be an exciting adventure to ‘The Dream’ would turn into a spiraling process of elimination.
My majors dropped like flies left and right as one change turned into two, and two into three, and so on until I eventually found myself near tears switching from my fifth major. When would I feel that knowing spark? Or had I already snuffed my chances the first or second time I switched majors?
The decision came with a weight so heavy I could barely stomach the idea of having to set up yet another appointment with my academic adviser (bless her heart), but I was at the end of the line and needed something, anything. With the resolve of a house of cards, I banked it all on my final choice, public relations, and prayed to God I would find something of interest in the field.
That was last semester, the semester I took my first public relations course, and the semester I found myself falling in love with PR.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t love at first sight or anything. It took a few classes to get to know it, find compatibility, establish trust. It wasn’t until the end of the semester when I could even come up with some kind of explanation of what PR was and how it operated for my friends and family.
Even now, almost a month into my second semester of the major, I’m still a fresh-faced rookie struggling to put the puzzle pieces together. But something is different, something I didn’t experience with the other majors I tried my hand at: I’m excited. I’m excited to learn more and get my hands dirty, to challenge my insecurities and create something I’m proud of, to face my fears and grow from those encounters.
There will be a lot of ups and downs, both as I finish college and with my transition into the professional world; but with the resources and connections I have ready at my disposal — my peers, professors, PRSSA, and PRSA — I know I’ll come out strong and find my mark within the industry.